Katlehong Primary School in Ekurhuleni. Angry residents set fire on the school building during protests against power cuts. File photo: Panyaza Lesufi/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi on Monday said that the department would attempt to salvage what was left of Katlehong Primary School despite the department not having funds to repair the school.

“We fully support the community’s standpoint and henceforth, we will work with them and the police to apprehend this rogue element. However, reality is that we do not have funds to repair the school, the department is at an advanced stage to check what can be salvaged from this mess,’’ said MEC Lesufi.

Katlehong Primary School was set alight last week during service delivery protests. 

Following the incident, Lesufi said: "People of Katlehong, this is what is left of Katlehong Primary School because the community is protesting against lack of electricity. This is completely unacceptable. Forget it if you think we will fix it! You will see to finish."

On Monday, the Katlehong community denied setting the school alight.

"Following the torching of Katlehong Primary School, the Gauteng Department of Education and Youth Development accept the community’s position that they didn’t mobilise for the burning of the school, and the principals report which believed that, it might not be the community that burnt the school," the GDE said in a statement.

"Accordingly, it is suspected that this act of arson might be the work of a lone member of the community. It is important to note that, we have an undertaking from the community to assist to track the culprit."

The department said it had been established that only two Grade R classes were burnt, and as such the affected learners would temporarily be accommodated at two identified classes at the same school.

"Teaching and learning will resume as planned tomorrow, 9 July 2019," the department said.

African News Agency (ANA)